Studies consistently show the hype of cash decline to be inaccurate and wildly overpromoted. Despite the continued growth in alternative payment options, consumers still rely on cash as their primary payment resource for gifts, food, personal care, automotive, entertainment and transportation services. But, with so many “more convenient” options available, why do people continue to rely on currency?
As evidenced by continued security breaches at popular retail establishments, the more technology gets involved in payments, the more opportunities criminals have of accessing crucial personal information. As a payment option, cash presents a level of security not found with credit, debit or digital payments.
Staying in Budget
Utilizing cards or digital payments has proven to disassociate individuals from the amount of money they are actually spending. An additional dollar or two here, a few more cents there…it adds up over time and can easily break the bank.
Experts suggest utilizing cash for everyday expenses in order to develop a better connection between actual expenses and budget restrictions. Cash use provides a visual cue for the consumer, allowing them to be more aware of the amount they have used and the limits to what they have available. Once the cash is gone, the spending stops.
As many have begun to discover online shopping, card use and digital payments contribute to “big data.” The end result being more advertising directed to each individual based on past purchases. While you can’t shop online with cash, making sure to use currency instead of other payment platforms when making purchases at physical retailers means keeping more of your expense information to yourself.
Debit, credit and digital payments have a major drawback – not all payment types are accepted at all locations. Retailers have long provided signs and other notifications to let customers know which card brands can be used for payment. Now, with the advent of digital payments and EMV, non-cash options have become even more confusing.
Despite the implementation dates for EMV at the point of sale having long passed, many retailers have either opted to wait or are still on the waiting list for verification. As a result, consumers must pay more attention at the check-out to determine whether they are required to swipe or insert their cards.
Cardless payments are slowly integrating into major stores but the type of cardless payment is not always the same – with a mix of Apple Pay, Android Pay and other mobile wallets up for grabs. In addition to individual platforms, cardless is still experimenting with a mix of delivery options – including NFC, RFID and QR codes.
You would, however, be hard pressed to find a physical merchant that does not accept cash. As an added bonus, cash does not require additional technology such as a mobile phone or point of sale terminal. The ease of cash use presents a welcome relief from the “latest and greatest” payment options.
While payment options have become more prolific, these payment platforms fail to provide the security, budgeting, anonymity and convenience consumers are used to experiencing when they choose cash. With so many positive sides to using cash over digital payments or cards, is it any wonder that currency continues to be a valuable resource for consumers?
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